By Margaret Clay
June is such a month of pleasure. School is out, pool parties ensue, and vacations abound. In this issue, I am struck by the consuming passion and joy that has burned its way out of the hearts of local Columbians into incredible accomplishments, both as careers and as hobbies. For example, on page 34, read about how Dreher graduates Erin and Garrett Graham turned their love of summer camp into buying historic Camp Glen Arden in North Carolina. There, they continue the old traditions that have delighted young girls for generations, as well as invent their own additions.
Local celebrity Amanda McNulty fused her bubbly personality and green thumb into a delightful package that ultimately landed her as host of ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. Rather than pursue her original plans of working in diplomacy, she allowed her passion to sidetrack her into a successful and fulfilling vocation. Read about her Emmy Award-winning career and “common sense approach to gardening” on page 24.
The tedious process of fine art restoration can only be described as a labor of love. Ginny Newell combined her knowledge of art history, acumen of chemistry, and dexterity as a painter to start ReNewell, Inc. Fine Art Conservation. Now, people from across the country seek her expertise in restoring valuable artwork. Learn more about her unique talent and the process of art restoration on page 72.
Jamie Walker has traveled to Costa Rica for years in pursuit of sailfish; however, his curiosity about where they disappeared to in the summers led him to institute the Billfish Research Project, the world’s only scientific study focused on Pacific sailfish migration off the coast of Costa Rica. Take a glimpse of his gorgeous photography of these majestic fish, and learn more about the project on page 56.
Yet another growing trend for the outdoorsman is reusing closed fire towers as private nature lookouts, enjoyed for their panoramic views of wildlife and summer sunsets. Find out how to acquire your own crow’s nest retreat on page 38, and start enjoying cocktail hour on top of the world.
Others in Columbia have moved just down the road to pursue their equine passion full time on horse farms in pastoral Blythewood. Read about this bucolic community and its newest prancing residents on page 48.
No matter your passion, “take it to the max,” and enjoy!